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    Yazd – Trip to Chak Chak

    Yazd - Yazd – Trip to Chak Chak

    Overview:

    Chak Chak

    The road out to Chak Chak took me through some of the most delightful scenery I have seen so far in Iran. One road in particular stretched into the distance for what seemed like forever until it ran into the base of the mountains.

    Chak Chak

    As we moved down this road, the village of Chak Chak started to come into view out of our left window, halfway up the mountain side. The story goes that Nikbanou, second daughter of the last Persian ruler, Yazdegerd III of the Sassanid Empire, fled here under attack by an Arab army in 640 CE.

    Chak Chak

    It’s not hard to see why young Nikbanou might have chosen this spot. If setting up for a defence, Chak Chak would be a great location. From the village you have a fantastic view out over the only viable approach. You would also have a fantastic height advantage in which to defend from.

    Chak Chak

    The Sassanid Empire was the last imperial dynasty in Persia before the rise of Islam. Though religion was still very much a thing during this era of Persian history, however we are talking about Zoroastrianism rather than Islam. Zoroastrianism is a religion that was born in ancient Persia and was the state religion for Persian Empires from 600 BCE to 650 CE.

    Chak Chak

    Nikbanou, the young woman who fled to this area to escape an Arab army, prayed to Ahura Mazda, creator and only God in the Zoroastrian religion. Long story short, Chak Chak now serves as a pilgrimage point for pious Zoroastrians. Each year for 4 days in June, thousands of Zoroastrians from all over the world, flock to Chak Chak. Tradition has it that pilgrims are to stop riding the moment they catch sight of the temple and complete the last leg of their journey on foot.

    Chak Chak

    Chak Chak then, is not just a small village in the mountains, but a Zoroastrian fire temple and the most sacred of the mountain shrines of Zoroastrianism. Like the name suggests, at the centre of a the Chak Chak fire temple is a fire, or Atar.

    Chak Chak

    A picture of who I assume is supposed to be Ahura Mazda (edit: turns out it’s not, it’s actually Zoroaster!) hangs against an interior wall of the temple against the stunning backdrop of the mountains.

    Chak Chak

    Freshly armed with a bunch of new knowledge about Zoroastrianism, myself and my travel companion Ellen took a few more photos at that very straight and picturesque road we came in on. I don’t mind a good jumping photo!

    Chak Chak

    Chak Chak

    And one more photo to finish up. I love the character of these mountains. So much intricate detail and texture. Next up will be my last post detailing my time in Yazd before I then write a few more stories about Kashan. A place I returned to on my way back to Tehran.

     

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    About Us

    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.

    Patrimonito

    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.